By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s about time for spring yard work to begin, but some Minneapolis neighbors are facing backyards uprooted, left with big patches of dirt.

Two homes in the Linden Hills neighborhood in southwest Minneapolis woke up to this muddy mess in their yards this week.

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Matthew Eickman, CEO of Abra Kadabra Environmental Services, says this much yard damage is rare after the spring melt, but not unheard of.

“To me it looks like something’s looking for food,” said Eickman. “It appears as if a larger animal was kind of pulling out all of the grass back. Looks like there was some sod that was laid there, and pulled some of that back, and making it look like a big mess.”

Eickman says the damage could be a number of large animals, including raccoons, fox, coyote, and potentially a wild turkey, but his gut says it was a hungry raccoon.

“That raccoon might have been looking grubs or worms or something kind of right below that grass line,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

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Eickman suggests looking for the food source attracting the larger animals. If it’s grubs, there are chemicals to treat that.

If it’s field mice or other rodents, they suggest laying new sod to cover up any scent that could attract critters.

Most importantly, he says get ahead of it. The best time to treat your yard is in the fall.

“Going into the winter, getting in front of issues is obviously the goal,” said Eickman.

Abra Kadabra Environmental Services offers a program in the fall to help homeowners prep their lawn for the winter months to avoid spring damage.

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Other tips to avoid yard damage is securing your trash bins, and if you have a bird feeder, making sure the seeds don’t spread all over the ground.

Marielle Mohs